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♫ SPANISH CARAVAN Guitar Tutorial ♫ All essential tips, tricks & techniques to improvise Flamenco

January 3, 2020

I think probably the best thing is,
instead of starting with a flamenco part at the beginning where it’s got these… arpeggios and things. I’ll actually show
you first the melody. What you’ve got to do for this part is, the whole tune is
in Phrygian mode in B, which basically means you a B chord, there’s also the C
chord; there’s like a D major and the chord really resolves to E minor, so to
understand the Phrygian mode you basically need to think backwards and
try and think of the B as being the fifth chord and if you try and think of
this song as actually being in E minor then all the chords seen to make sense. If you don’t understand this you have to go look it up somewhere else. Basically the song is in B So the famous lick goes something like
this… Now what we’ve got here is you’re basically
using two fingers, whichever ones you decide to use is up to you. I use a thumb
pick of my first finger, but if you’re playing actually with a pick (which is just
gonna make everything a bit complicated) you can do it with the pick and the
first finger. You can kind of figure that one out. It really doesn’t matter, it’s
just basically two fingers doing all the job. Going through the notes,
if you think of this as B… The first note will be here… Okay, so the open B string is the
alternating note So I think it repeats the whole cycle twice and on the third there’s a slight variation on the melody where it
drops down. I’ll go through it once more These things are so difficult to play slow though. The following section is quite a typical
flamenco pattern, which uses exactly the same technique and it goes up to C, which this time is a C7 so the first part of it is like this, then it goes up to this little chord… …back down… Now this whole section is quite good to
improvise to because it’s actually possible to add other notes in there. You can add
the kind of top note in there as well and do like a kind of triplet sort of
thing, although with these things I often think they’re better to do it more
simply. I’ll show you what I mean you can do it like this. So that’s exactly the same thing, but
this time what we’re just doing is we using the bass note, I think the
second note is the top note, which I’ll be playing with the middle finger and
then the B string will be with the third finger. So that’s one kind of variation
which you might want to mess around with. I’ve heard that on a lot of these old
flamenco records like ‘Tarantas’ which in this sort of tonality those kind of
three-finger arpeggios. Again the timing are free on that. So that’s the
main theme, which you’re probably going to want to play twice. Don’t go
straight into it. Do the flamenco stuff first about section; go off and do your
improvisation stuff and then finish with a kind of head if
you like.What I’ll do now is that I’ll go back to the beginning. I’ll go through
some of the variations of the flamenco part at the start, I cannot for the life of
me remember exactly how the original goes. I haven’t actually sat down and
figured it out for years. but usually the Granadinas flamenco form always begins with this figure. It’s symbolic and iconic, if you like, a riff that goes
at the start of that. It’s usually based on a four finger B chord. Often moving up…
usually going back down. One variation is they often do, like the Robby Krieger
version, he leaves the G string open. Even if you go up to the D chord you can do the same thing although the sounds not quite the same. So the first technique that you
might want to look at is the tremolo. Any of you that know anything about
classical music, all know that there’s three finger tremolo where you play a
bass note and then you play ring finger middle finger followed by index finger. I’m actually terrible at doing this technique but I’ve seen the video where Pepe Romero (who is probably the greatest person at playing the three finger
classical tremolo technique), he advises using a kind of bicycle motion on these. So, I’ll give you a demonstration. There’s three note that procede the strum at the beginning. and you’ll notice that I’m actually taking the
first finger on and off the top string to give it that dissonant sound. This is a tremolo technique where I just play those notes and then there’s a slight pause obviously. If you do the classical type of tremolo then the notes just continue. So, that’s one variation. Another one
is the arpeggios. This time I want to changed the position site and
actually finger the B note and with the other four fingers we’re going to be
playing the rest of the B chord but without fingering the top one, so the
top string is actually open so you get… what this means is that you can do
single arpeggios up or arpeggios down or double arpeggios, so… You can take your finger off the top and go up and down with that one… I’m completely out of practice at the moment but you get the idea anyway. So there that’s another kind of variation then there’s
the variation which I mentioned before where the g-string is left open again
you can do arpeggios in one direction which I think the Doors version actually includes. You can alternate between the bass notes if you want. And the other nice chord is that you can have the D7 I’ll go really slow with that. So again you’ve got the the top strings
ringing out which gives it that slightly… Or if you if you’re not happy with that,
if you want it sound even more elaborate you can actually do the double arpeggio
which you can find in the flamenco books The Juan Martin book… he explains
about this where you do like an arpeggio up and an arpeggio down. So I’m not sure how many notes that is. It’s
maybe one-two-three-four and then down and then there’s some versions where
there is I think a C sharp diminished or is possibly a half diminished, if you look at
that I’ve got the fourth fret of the A string placed there and then on top of that there is is the little… so you got these notes and that one works really well because
that’s the kind of lead-in to the D7 so you can hear how nice that change works. Now that change you can actually use for just about anything, anywhere in any song,
ever, if you ever want to go to a chord such as a seventh chord or even a minor chord, you can always precede it with… They do that a lot in gypsy jazz as a
kind of passing chord So that’s a nice passing chord and
that one works really well if you kind of sit on it for a while and just, you
know, create the kind of tension everybody knows where it’s going to go
but the longer you stay there the better again you can take this first finger off
and use it to play these three notes on a string and then to resolve the whole thing just
go to G chord basically. Play it like that if you want. So that’s the whole of the first part there’s many many different possible
variations of fingerings if you go to kind of any video of flamenco players
playing this Granadinas, you’ll see that they always begin with that and
they always do these different kind of variations they’re also kind of passing
chords but loads of different things in and you should be able to get like a
good minute’s worth of introduction out before the audience gets bored. On my version are recorded before I think the second
section was this other very typical cliche from the Granadias form which
has got this phrase there’s something very similar to that
on the Doors’ one. Now what’s happening here is you’ve got these two notes at
the top these horribly dissonant notes which is actually a single tone
difference like a car horn. If you go to New York City there’s a thousand drivers doing that at the same time. That you put over a C note… and it should give you something like this. Do it once, do it twice or many times… and
then the next phrase again there’s many different possibilities for
that. Actually it’s probably better if you finger this with third you can use
the other fingers to play this little lick or any variation. I’m basically
improvising on this one. There’s a little pull off there. If I take this one off you’ll be able to see it better Then the next part is this… Don’t ask me for the theory about this but there’s a kind of
me here and then I think there’s the B octave above and this part goes It’s going B to C, B to C etc. and you’ve got a low octive and high octave. Again you can stick around there for a while and create the tension and the last ones on that is I think
there’s an A with the octave. a G with the octave and F sharp with the octave down
to the E minor. So again that whole section So the last part is you go down so the E
and then you play a little descending riff… ….to D then D (Re) to C (Do) and this time we’ve got the two Cs
again. An octave there on the A string and on the B string a little pull-off you
can put any kind of thing there the little embellishments as you wish and then the final part of this is… again that very very typically Andalusian phrase which goes from the F-sharp
sliding up. Not sure what finger you use whatever one kind of lands there basically. You can even do with your thumb. I’ve seen a lot of flamenco players actually play some
kind of three finger thing where they do some kind of variation they do
again I think Robby Krieger actually had a kind of classical or flamenco training
and so he probably never actually played the same thing that’s why sire he would
have learned traditional improvisational form so if you get any of these guys on
youtube saying ‘Oh no. This is not the correct way to do it!’ Forget it. The
whole thing is a complete improvisational form, where you were
trying to get this communication going with the audience or with other players
or whatever. It”s not this kind of freaky, snobby thing where you have to
get every note exactly right. So what I’m trying to encourage you to do here is
just get as creative as possible with this. So that’s basically the whole first
section. Now, when we get up to this chord the chord is just a simple B5 (Ti) chord
where you’ve got the B then F sharp and then you’ve got the B (Ti) again on the D (Re) string the fop three strings. It might look as if I’m holding the chord
here, but if I turn the guitar around, the top three strings are all completely
open and that gives us another chance to do
one of these typical flamenco flourishes, if you like, where there’s this… I think
it’s like a double arpeggio followed by a nail dragged across the string. If I do that quickly …so you hit the bottom note… …play those three and then possibly back
up, if you want, and then when you come down the phone the middle nail or you
know variation of this but probably the most
typical one is with the nail of your ring finger. Again if you want to stay there a
while and play the arpeggio while you kind of warm your hands up… that’s all fine. So there’s there’s no strict pattern
here to be followed. Now, once you played this whole flamenco section, it’s
possible to go straight into the part I showed you at the beginning with the riff The problem with doing that is that you
you’re kind of playing your best hand early so this would be a good place to
put in any kind of flamenco style improvisation. One thing that I do was
what I heard on a version of Granadinas by Pepe Romero and this was in the early
period before Pepe was making the classical records. He made a lot of
flamenco records. I lifted one whole section off that which is actually very easy to play, but like a lot of good music, it’s got a superb choice and notes but I think I do in the other video. So this part goes
like this… and then to finish it there was a phrase and back to this part etc. Now, Pepe Romero does it about 500
MPH which is way beyond my limited capacity but what we got here is
a whole B, you know, just a nursery rhyme barre chord. I play it with my thumb. Again with the tremolo at the beginning so…. thens beh beh beh… the flamenco guys have got the big fat fingernail I do the Chet Atkins one one because you
get better angle, but you know, we’ll get into that later. So again… then the next chord is this chord which you’ve probably seen before
which is very similar to the B7 (Si 7) that you move the B7 up to the ninth
fret here and then take this finger off. Then the top of that chord
which on the top string has got this one B string 9th fret on the G string 8th fret
on the D string I think it’s just a 7th chord here. So we’re going from B to the 5th. Obviously it’s on the top four strings
so this whole thing works really well you could do it with our page shows you
can do it with trembling or anything so I did it with tremolo and the whole
thing moved up okay slowly I think possibly I do the flamenco tremolo not
the classical one because the classical one is where you begin with this finger
you one two three but there’s a variation on this which is a full finger
flamenco tremolo and I’m giving you a lot of information here but you can rewind and mess around with this stuff. So the flamenco tremolo you
normally play the first finger first, second ring next is your middle one and
you finish with the one that you started on normally it’s done with a bass
note firstly other one but I did learn
flamenco first and so sometimes when I’m improvising and don’t actually think
about these the first finger begins there tremolo but whatever you can do
whatever you’re comfortable with my advice for this one is if you want to
go really fast and you’ve got a lot of bass notes and you’re doing always kind
of crazy then it’s probably better to do the three finger one when Pepe Romero
played plays flamenco he actually uses the classical three finger one rather
than the four but most other flamenco players used variation where you use the
first finger first so anyway let’s finish off this whole phrase so first
part was embellishments they’re really easy riffs. Probably better to just play it from this position is to play the B chord
with an arpeggio and then you do this little figure enter A minor, same thing G and back to the dissonant so I’ll sectional play again so that’s basically the three main parts
that you could use for this tune now if you wanted to elaborate a little bit
more on the chord structure you should try and remember what the chords are for
this again I’ll go back to what I originally said about where the chords
come from if you think of this song as merely a minor
well logically in E minor A minor features many time and it resolves to
the B7 or just economy like this and then the kind of flamenco chord is
this G once there’s a whole load of stuff you can do just based on those
there’s also a lot of other interesting passing chords diminished chords that
you can improvise on as well so a lot of those ideas are just based
around these two diminished chords here absolute standards diminished clock which results but then there’s a million
ideas just for a little plug here if you wanna
really let loose on the fret board the secret are there is no only you having a
good kind of right hand technique where you can make a lot of interesting things
out of very simple chord shapes but the other thing to do is to just learn about
15/20 if you got time 2530 or ped zeros and then alone to improvise around those
arpeggios I can’t remember if I did it on this video or not but I’ve actually
got two videos on YouTube which I think I’ve got the title 50 moveable arpeggios
and if you learn those for example you can take a chord like a minor and then
you can learn still all the different arpeggios based on that you know simple
things like this so exactly the same for the other chords you you can
and cold like G and you know what kind of cheese is well things like g7 so why
don’t we do some nice g7 arpeggios this type of thing are those kind of things you can you can
do all day if you take just one basic chord G 7th for example learn ten
arpeggios then you just simply move them around since of different positions and
you’re away if you want to take it down so sharp you can do the same thing now I’ll take you back to the piece of
us all when when you hear people talking about jazz improvisation don’t ever let
them kiss you that it’s anything complicated is absolutely not all you’ve
got to do is you take a chord and then you just learn some different arpeggios
I wouldn’t even bother with scales because you know you can perfectly play
really good guitar without scales look at django reinhardt everything he did
was arpeggio bass and there’ll be people arguing in the comments here probably
that you know and arpeggio is really a scale and well yeah well right it’s just
like a kind of limited inventory scale if you like so if you want to really let
rip on this type of tune with a lot of single note stuff check out the 50
movable chords videos I think I’ve just about covered everything on this if
anyone really is interested I’ve got a ton of other ideas which I tend to put
into the Spanish Caravan solo which kind of basically it’s basically an
improvisational vehicle but there’s so many Tunes which are actually in E minor
which which are the same chord you can even put a whole other tune
inside the song if you want I quite often mix it with dark eyes etc I got video so that if you have a
look at the video that I’ve got for dark harsh we notice that the positions are
exactly the same I mean there’s a different flavor to it a lot of
improvisational stuff around our pictures and stop we’re given the record
room exactly the same very basic chords you can mix and match the to listen to
different variations by other guitar players copy some licks off piano etc
and so to conclude the basic things that you want to be looking at is figure out
what the chords are try and get your right hand going if you’re not a thumb
picker but your plectrum down or try and do it with the hybrid picking although
you’re gonna make life difficult for you if you want my advice is take thumb pick
and you know act like a clumsy idiot for two weeks but then you’ll never look
back as once you’ve got the thumb pick you’ve got four fingers to use I try and
get those working in different combinations single or peji O’s continuous all Pecos and then there’s all these other kind of
flamenco techniques that you can put into this or anything one really good
one is which always sounds really kind of impressive I think that one the first
time ever heard of them and compare doing that just blew my mind
it’s actually the simplest thing there is says it’s just illness to think about
this there’s an upstroke down finger and then you I think as can destroy
unless it says a pup stroke down stroke with the middle finger and then follow
through with the down stroke so it’s a three movement technique with two
fingers and then once again there’s many many different variations on this so try
and do it slowly and you can do that although add some pauses in there the important thing about our technique
is you’ve always got to finish on the upstroke so it gives it the Spanish
flavor what you need to be thinking about is if you look at the women doing
the flamenco dancing whenever they do the kind of all way and throw their hand
up in the air that’s the same it’s the same movement anyway all this I’ll come
back to you later I’ll put together a video where we explore a bit of kind of
right hand technique and really open things up for you hope that’s been
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  • Reply deric smith April 18, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    gracias amigo. muy bueno

  • Reply chander bhanu Pal April 29, 2019 at 9:38 am

  • Reply Jeff Stewart May 11, 2019 at 8:45 pm


  • Reply Jan Kupka August 10, 2019 at 9:46 am

    Too many words, poor tutorial… 🙁

  • Reply Logan Belveal October 23, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    Sounds off on your setup when you are playing it which takes away from how informative the video is. Would have liked this one on acoustic

  • Reply Miki Pannell - Guitar Geeks & Gear Freaks January 2, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    Hi friends. If you enjoy this channel and love guitars, please subscribe:

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